List of Objects Currently on Exhibit
Learn More About It
Funding and Credits
The Library of Congress gratefully acknowledges
the generous support of
The Document Company
which has made possible the unprecedented American Treasures exhibition
and this online presentation.
The American Treasures Gallery closed in August
2007. The online exhibition will remain a permanent fixture of
the Library's Website.
Of the more than 130 million items
in the Library of Congress, which are considered "treasures"? Of
course Thomas Jefferson's handwritten draft of the Declaration
of Independence is a treasure, not only because of its association
with Jefferson but also because of what it reveals about how one
of the founding documents of America was written and rewritten
and finally agreed upon by dozens of men in the midst of a political
But what about Jelly Roll Morton's
early compositions? Or Maya Lin's original drawing for the Vietnam
Veterans Memorial? Or one of the earliest known baseball cards?
Or the first motion picture deposited for copyright? The Library
holds all these and more.
Thomas Jefferson, whose personal
library became the core of the Library of Congress, arranged his
books into three types of knowledge, corresponding to Francis Bacon's
three faculties of the mind: Memory (History), Reason (Philosophy),
and Imagination (Fine Arts).
Although the Library organizes its
immense collections according to a system created at the end of
the1800s, the treasures in this exhibition have been placed in
the same categories that Jefferson would have used, had he been
deciding where to put Alexander Graham Bell's lab notebook or George
Gershwin's full orchestral score for Porgy and Bess.